Let’s face it: taking kids to the dentist is anything but fun. Kids themselves know this pretty early on, unless you find a dentist who takes the time to create a more welcoming environment for their visits. To avoid your child fearing dental appointments, you want a dentist who can relate to children and their needs. Here we look at how your child’s dental visits can be fun, with five things your dentist should offer your child at regular checkups.
Things Your Dentist Should Offer Your Child
1. Gentle, Stress-Free Appointments
Gentle dental is 100% pain-free, allowing kids to sit back and relax. When your dentist sets the right tone for appointments, it reduces the risk of kids having a negative experience that can lead to dental anxiety. Gentle dental ensures your child’s dental visit feels safe, so they trust their dental team. The dentist doesn’t rush into the cleaning or checkup and instead asks questions and explains each step, so your child doesn’t experience anything unexpected.
Your dentist should learn more about your child to address things such as fear of needles or sharp dental tools. Your child might not like loud noises and would feel more comfortable wearing headphones to listen to music during their appointments. Some kids have a strong gag reflex, so extra care should be taken when putting instruments or fingers in their mouths. Others might be nervous around new people, so keeping the number of team members involved in the appointment at a minimum can help.
A dentist who takes the time to make you and your child feel safe understands the needs of young patients. They create the right environment to develop a healthy, trusting relationship with their patients so your child enjoys a life of exceptional oral health.
2. The Right Ambience
A dental office that ensures every patient is greeted with smiling faces helps set the tone for happy checkups. Offices with fun, kid-friendly details tell them it’s a safe, relaxed place for children. Pictures on the walls, characters they can relate to from their favourite movies or TV shows, and bright open spaces that don’t feel confining or uncomfortable all contribute to a positive experience for kids.
3. State Of The Art Perks
Although not related to your child’s actual dental care, state-of-the-art perks at your dental office are a definite plus in creating a great dental care experience. Whether gaming while waiting for their appointment, having the choice to listen to music, or watching a movie during their checkup, technology is a distraction to keep kids from worrying. These little details go a long way towards making children feel comfortable at the dentist, so they don’t have a negative or scary experience.
4. “Chair Rides” In The Dentist’s Chair
The sooner your child visits the dentist, the more often they receive care and the more familiar they become with the entire process. Even toddlers can learn to love their dentist visits, especially if their first appointment starts with a chair ride. The dental chair can be a little scary with all the lights and tools in the room. However, if you can take your child into the room and show them how the dental chair works, they become familiar with the environment, see the smiling faces of the dental team, and get a little thrill when the chair is lifted and lowered.
Most dentists will see children when their first tooth appears. If you join them in the operatory and are involved in their appointment, they’ll feel safer and might even enjoy themselves. That first chair ride helps create a positive experience made all the less intimidating when they are sitting in your lap. By the time they are old enough to sit in the chair by themselves, they won’t be worried a single bit and might even feel proud to be a big boy or girl who can now sit in the chair on their own.
During their chair ride, they can also ask questions about other equipment in the room, learn proper brushing techniques using fun tools and toys to demonstrate the routine, and maybe even get a free book or toy for being so brave.
5. Kid-Friendly Choices At Every Checkup
A good dentist understands that no two kids are alike. They’ll take the time to offer options, so kids feel more in control at their appointments. Some of the options your dentist might offer can include the following:
- Different flavours of fluoride or tooth polish
- Different colours of dental floss
- Asking your child if they prefer to wear their own glasses or goggles provided by the assistant
- Maybe a few different kid-friendly bib designs
- Their choice of colours for a free toothbrush after their appointment
These little courtesies involve your child in the process so they feel more at home and like their input matters.
We are committed to making your children feel at home at Bradford Family Dentistry. We are ready to answer all your questions so your child is more involved in maintaining excellent oral health. We take the time to get to know your child and accommodate their needs so their checkups are stress-free. In our clinic, you will find friendly, competent dental staff who take the time to create a fun atmosphere that makes kids feel safe and welcome. Gentle dental is part of every appointment to create a calm environment for kids and their parents.